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Full text of "Mr. Chamberlain on Ulster"

Irish Question, No. 32.] 



MR. CHAMBERLAIN ON ULSTER. 



11 Ieish members have said that they would rather have no Bill at 
all than a Bill which did not place Ulster under the power of the 
dominant majority at Dublin, and which did not give the Dublin 
Parliament power to tax "Ulster. I can quite understand that. 
I can quite understand that a Dublin Parliament without the 
power to tax Ulster might find itself in financial difficulties. 

But the question is whether it is fair to Ulster. I am 

not going to say anything about the armed resistance which has 
been threatened in Ulster. I know nothing about it. We have 
heard that these threats have been made before, and that they 
have not been followed by anything dangerous, and very likely it 
will be the same thing again. The other day the hon. member 
for Cork actually got up in the House and accused me of incite- 
ment to assassination and outrage. No charge could possibly be 
more absurd or ridiculous. I have not said a word, either in 
speech or writing, about physical violence in connection with this 
measure. I only notice the statement of the hon. member for 
Cork to express the satisfaction with which I find him denounc- 
ing even the most shadowy and imaginary incitements to violence 
and outrage. Well, Sir, what I want to ask the House is this : 
If the resistance of Ulster is expressed in the usual constitutional 
way, or if resistance of a portion — and an important portion — of 
Ulster is expressed in the same way to any proposal for sub- 
mitting them to a Dublin Parliament, will you override it, will 
you ignore it ? I say you ought not. Now, I listened the other 
night to the speech of my right hon. friend the President of the 
Local Government Board (Mr. Stansfeld), and really there have 
been so many good speeches made from the Treasury Bench in 
this debate that I do not know to which to give the palm ; I 
admired his speech very much, although there was one passage 
in it, the interpretation placed on which I think he should regret. 
I will read the exact words of my right hon. friend. He said : — 
"'I regard it as about the most weighty and condemnatory 
testimony that could be borne that our former rule of Ireland has 
led now, at this moment, to the existence of a portion of the Irish 
people so divided from the rest, so hostile, so unsympathetic, so 
unbelieving, that no spark of Irish patriotism, as it would appear, 
is kindled in their breasts by the prospect of being permitted, 
under this system of autonomy, to contribute thus directly to the 
prosperity of their country.' 



( 2 ) 

" Sir, why are the Protestants of Ulster stigmatised by my right 
hon. friend as unpatriotic and unsympathetic ? Why, because 

they are proud to belong to a greater country; 
because they take their share in the autonomy of 
the United Kingdom in which they have a part; 
because they cling to the traditions and the history 
of the United Kingdom, which is just as much their 
possession and heritage as it is ours ; because they 
refuse to be cast adrift and cut away from the 
hopes and associations which they have hitherto 

cherished. I suppose if my right hon. friend had been a 
Frenchman he would have denounced the people of Alsace and 
Lorraine as unsympathetic and unpatriotic, when they refused to 
be reunited to Germany and when their hearts turned towards the 
great country from which they were forcibly separated. I sup- 
pose if he had been an Italian he would have denounced those 
members of the Savoyard community who did their utmost to 
prevent the transfer of their country to France ; and loyalty 
must indeed be at a discount when a passionate allegiance to the 
unity of the kingdom is made a moral offence and crime by a 
Minister of the Crown Now, is it a fact that 

the Ulster Protesiants do fear for their material 

and their religious interests P There is no doubt what- 
ever about it in the mind of any man who reads the papers or 
or attends public meetings or knows anything at all about the 
state and condition of Protestant Ulster. But was I right to 
say they had some reason for it ? Well, I belong to an extreme 
section of the Liberal party, who have all my political life joined 
with those who would destroy ever)' shred of religion*! 
ascendency, by whatever sect it may be claimed. But then I 
think that gives me and those who think with me the right to 
protest against the substitution of one form of religious ascend- 
ency for another f and I say that the Catholic Church by its 
tenets and by its faith is bound not to be content with equality, 
but to demand predominance. Hon. members from Ireland 
think not. I will give them an authority for it. Here is a 
pamphlet written by the Prime Minister in 1875 on Vaticanism. 
The Prime Minister (Mr. Gladstone) said then : — * It is true — it 
is absolutely true — that to secure rights has been, and is, the 
aim of Christian civilisation ; to destroy them and to establish 
the resistless, domineering action of a purely central power is 
the aim of the Koman policv. 1 " — House of Commons — Times, 
June 2, 1886. 



Published for the Liberal Unionist Committee, price 5s. per 1,000, bf 
CasSell and Company, Limited, Ludgate Hill, London.] 



"Printed by W. Speait/lit i\- Sons, Fetter Lane, London,